Peace for Assam

     
Sometimes what you can't even imagine in your wildest dream for your homeland, for your people, can happen. The last few days have been tensed and unimaginable for my homeland Assam and the Assamese people. People are in relentless processions, curfews, roads are closed, at least 6 people are killed in the last 7 days and reports of people getting hurt. Little children to senior citizens, commoners to celebrities have taken to the streets to protest against CAA. CAA or Citizenship Amendment Act is a huge let down for the Assamese people and is a horrific sense of betrayal. The implementation of CAA opens path to millions of refugees from Bangladesh the right to citizenship. It violates the Assam Accord, signed in 1985 which was attained after 6 long years of a bitter battle with the center from 1979 to 1985 with hundreds (800 plus) of Assamese people becoming a martyr to the cause. According to the Assam Accord, all refugees who came before 1971 will be accepted as Indian citizens into Assam and rest will have to go back. Now with the CAA 2019, this date is shifted to 31st Dec 2014. Accepting refugees since independence to 1971 has already been a huge deal with the numbers in millions. CAA will put additional burden on resources and threaten the language, culture, and tradition of Assam. Being an immigrant myself, immigration has been an age-old process that gives a continent its uniqueness and attribution, but it should not be an imposed one. Immigration is a need based process either for employment or for demographics or humanitarian reasons. CAA hugely failed in all this aspects in terms of Assam's economic and resource constraints. Assam's per ca-pita income is already less than 1/2 of the national average. Assam's population density is already higher than the national average. Will the state be able to take the burden of millions of additional immigrants?

The land of 238 tribes, the unique land of Dakhanas (Bodo tribe's traditional attire) to mekhela chadar, Aliai ligang Tai ustav, smitten by Bargeet (Hindu prayers) and amused by the Zikir (Sufi prayers), for the secular Assamese people this problem is not about religion but protecting their indigenous identity. The identity which is not defined by any religion.

In the end, an undying hope to see CAA being repealed or Assam being excluded from CAA, return of peace and prosperity, people to get a normal life, kids to go back to school and cherish and treasure the unique identity of Assam. The sacrifices of millions of people and hundreds of martyrs shouldn't go in vain.


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